Older workers: An exploration of the benefits, barriers and adaptations for older people in the workforce

 The continuation of older people in the paid workforce is regarded as beneficial for both the economy and older workers. While there have been attempts to encourage older people to continue working, little is understood about older workers' perspectives. This qualitative study explored the lived experiences and perceptions of paid workers aged 60 years and older with the aim of understanding why older people continue to work and the barriers and facilitators they encounter. Sixteen older Australians (eight males and eight females, mean age 67 years) who participated in paid employment for at least 12 hours per month were interviewed. Thematic analysis elicited themes of benefits of work, problems encountered at work and the ways in which older people respond to these challenges. Financial considerations, the desire to contribute and the absence of competing interests were reasons given for continuing involvement in work. Older workers identified stress, lack of support, physical demands and overemphasis on qualifications as barriers to their participation. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, having a passion for work, and education were factors that participants identified as supporting continued work. These findings enhance the understanding of the experiences of older workers and may have implications for encouraging workforce participation of older people.

Source: http://iospress.metapress.com/content/925k2346g4675x05/

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